Chronicles of the Lifeworld

lifeworld–the world of everyday life; the world as experienced.

Economism

From David Henderson at EconLog:

Here’s what I’m wondering. If a local government in Pacific Grove or elsewhere got rid of such laws, how many extra productive jobs would be created? How many people would hire workers to cut down trees, build extra rooms, etc.? The city of Pacific Grove is also hostile to anyone who wants to have a medical marijuana clinic. It also doesn’t allow bars. If the city government started allowing these things, how many extra jobs would be created? I know that jobs are not the measure of wealth, but in all these cases, the jobs would create wealth.

This is an example of economic reductionism–the act of reducing social life into a narrow set of economic variables, namely wealth and productivity. Wealth and jobs are important. Communities live and die by them. But wealth is not always the most important factor by which communities thrive. Other factors are important too, such as community solidarity and happiness. Introducing policies designed to increase wealth and productivity could have¬†destabilizing¬†effects on solidarity and happiness, a sort of mini-”creative destruction,” if you will.

I’m not against communities introducing wealth producing policies, or un-policies (deregulations). Those decisions should ultimately lie with local governments, which tend to have a better understanding of the wants and desires of their constituents than state or federal representatives.

Written by Cody

July 24, 2010 at 18:40

Posted in economics, sociology

Tagged with , ,

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